Indoor kids activities for a rainy day

kids decorating cookies

Whether you’re parenting or babysitting, keeping kids entertained always presents a challenge. It can be hard to strike a balance between giving them the freedom to occupy themselves and structuring an activity that’s actually enriching. This becomes even more difficult when you have to stay inside because of the weather. The next time you have a rainy day to spend with the kids, consider doing one of the activities listed below together.

Baking. Who doesn’t enjoy a treat straight out of the oven on a rainy day? Show your children how to make their favorite baked goods, and let them help with the mixing, measuring, and of course, eating. This gives you the chance to show them how to follow a recipe, and can even set the foundation for a lifetime of cooking. Something simple like brownies from a boxed mix or cupcakes would be a good place to start.

Movie marathon. If you and your kids tend to have busy schedules, a rainy day off might be the perfect opportunity to spend some quality down time together. Sometimes, it’s a good idea to just unwind by watching some movies. Which ones you decide to watch are entirely up to you and the kids; pick your tried and true favorites, or opt to watch ones you’ve never seen before. You can even introduce your child to movies you enjoyed when you were their age. With so many streaming and digital renting services to choose from now, your marathon lineup can be varied and keep everyone interested all day long.

Get crafty. When you’re stuck inside all day, it’s a good idea to keep children’s minds as active as possible. Crafts are a great way to do this, as they can be approached in any number of ways. For kids that like a bit of instruction, you can print out directions for them to follow for any number of fun projects. For those who like to work in a more free-form manner, you can set up stations with different materials for kids to mix-and-match to create a project all their own.

Go “camping.” A rainy day doesn’t need to ruin your camping trip. Grab the sofa cushions and some bed sheets to create an indoor tent that the kids can hang out inside. Turn all the lights off and use flashlights the way you would in the wilderness (and in lieu of a campfire). Once it’s all set up, kids can play games inside, read, or tell each other ghost stories. Don’t forget the trail mix!

Make a game. This one might be the easiest to do, because it is only limited by the kids’ imaginations. With this activity, they can collaborate on creating a board game, making up the rules as well as the board itself. It doesn’t even need to use a board; bring some props into the playroom and help them come up with a game. It doesn’t even need to make sense; just letting them be the boss can be fun for them, while also helping them learn how to communicate effectively.

14 Fun Things to Do on a Rainy Day [Real Simple]

How to Survive a Rainy Day with Children: A Summer Guide [Oprah]